PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A basketball game in Pittsburgh’s Manchester neighborhood Wednesday morning was about bridging the gap and forming a connection during a time where it seems we’re dividing more than ever.
About a dozen kids not only played a good game of basketball, they also learned important parts of history and built relationships with those they may have been afraid to connect with before.
All of it is happened on the basketball court in Pittsburgh’s Manchester neighborhood.
“Most of them get the negative and now they can get the positive and know there are two sides to it,” said Darelle Porter with Ozanam, Inc.
It’s part of the Ozanam Unity in the Community Camp. Everyday for the last week and a half, a handful of Pittsburgh Police officers have volunteered their time to form a connection with kids — a connection that some say is needed now more than ever.
“I’ve been around a lot of good officers, so it’s tough to try and convince them we’re all not bad but that’s rough,” said Pittsburgh Police Officer Sylvester Wright.
“And we know we can’t do it without the community working with us. This is what it’s about, the youth that are here today,” said Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert.
The Pittsburgh Police chief, seen throwing footballs with the kids, wants them to know when they see a police uniform, it’s about keeping them safe.
“Get to know me. Don’t worry about the patch, don’t worry about the badge, get to know me,” said Schubert.
“If anytime in life they have an encounter with the police, it’s going to be positive before the encounter actually occurs because of what they went through as children,” said Dr. Karen Hall, Assistant Executive Director of Ozanam, Inc.
And in Manchester, kids can continue to play basketball every morning with Pittsburgh Police officers until this Friday.